Ever heard of the phrase “sitting is the new smoking”? The easiest antidote to a sedentary lifestyle is to get moving! Walking is a great way to improve your fitness and hit your weight loss goals. A daily walk has so many health benefits from protecting against heart disease to improving your mental health. With a little planning, you can get more steps in a day by using these tips to add extra steps to your daily routine.
This post looks at:
- How to track your step count.
- Setting a daily step goal – how many steps a day is healthy?
- Building a walking routine.
- Simple ways to be more active and increase steps in a day.
- 50 ideas to add more steps to your day.
Let’s get started!
How To Track Your Step Count
Keeping track of your step count is important to stay accountable and motivated. You can use wearable fitness trackers such as a watch with GPS, apps on your phone, or even simple pedometers.
- Choose your tracker: Make sure it’s something you’re going to wear consistently. Personally, I like using a simple pedometer – these are budget-friendly devices that can be clipped onto your waistband or slipped into your pocket.
- Check the settings: Often fitness trackers have a default stride length that you can adjust to give a more accurate reading of the distance walked. Make sure your pedometer or tracker is counting your steps correctly.
- Wear your tracker everywhere! To record your step count you need to wear your tracker from the minute you get up to when you go to bed at night. Those steps around the house count!
- Record your step count: Keep track of your daily steps using an app or in a journal, so you can monitor the progress you are making.
Setting A Daily Step Goal – How Many Steps A Day Is Healthy?
There’s no one-size-fits-all target or a magic number for a daily step count. It’s a personal goal and should be based on your current fitness level and targets.
Many people aim for 10,000 steps a day. It can be a realistic target for most people provided you build up to walking this number of steps gradually. 10,000 steps is about the same as walking 4 miles a day or 5 miles a day.
Related post: How Many Steps In A Mile Walking Or Running
Be wary of setting too high a target. It’s better to take fewer steps and avoid the risk of injury. It’s also possible to negatively affect your mental health if you’re stressing about hitting your target.
A daily step goal should be a fun and realistic way to move more. It shouldn’t take over your life – pounding around the living room late at night to hit your step target isn’t healthy.
If you’re new to exercise, start at 2000 to 3000 steps a day or follow my 10,000 steps challenge where you’ll gradually increase your daily step count.
Related post: How Many Miles In 10,000 Steps And How Many Calories Burned?
Building A Walking Routine
If you want to increase your daily steps it helps to have a routine in place. It’s also easier to keep up motivation when walking becomes part of your everyday life.
Here are some tips:
- Set a regular time for walking: Every day at the same time can help make walking a habit. Most people find it easier to go out in the morning but pick a time that works for you. Even if it’s just walking 2 miles a day – it will make a big difference.
- Choose a route: Opt for somewhere you can walk in all types of weather. trails can be great but in winter I stick to local quiet country roads. If you live near a local park – make the most of it.
- Vary your route: If you are walking the same place every day it can become boring. Mix it up and discover new roads/trails to explore.
- Find motivation: Listen to an audiobook, podcast, or music while walking – just be aware of safety if you’re walking near traffic. Or meet up with friends or work colleagues once or twice a week for a social walk.
- Break up your walks: For longer walks, break them up into two or more mini walks. This can make it easier to fit in your daily step count if you have a busy day.
Simple Ways to be More Active and Increase Steps in A Day
It’s easy to get into the habit of being more active throughout your day. Here are some simple tips:
Take the stairs: Instead of using the lift, take the stairs – you’ll get your heart rate up and it’s a great way to add in more steps.
Park further away: If you’re driving somewhere, park at the far end of the car park – bonus points if you can park and walk.
Walk during TV adverts: Get off the sofa and take a lap of the living room during your favorite shows.
Walk and talk: If you’re catching up with a friend or colleague on the phone, take it outside for a walk – it’s amazing how quickly the time passes.
Get a standing desk: If you’re up on your feet standing at a desk, you’ll do more walking.
Do housework: Vacuuming, dusting, and tidying all count as steps. So get those chores done!
Get a dog: Of course, there are lots of things to think about before you rush out and get a furry friend from the local animal shelter, but dog owners do have an excuse for daily walks. It doesn’t have to be your dog – walking a friend’s dog regularly works just as well.
Find a walking buddy: it can help if you have someone to walk with – it could be a friend or a family member.
50 Ideas To Add More Steps To Your Day
Need some more ideas to add steps to your day? Try these out…
Steps at Home
- Start your day with a morning walk.
- Walk in place while watching TV or during commercial breaks.
- Dance while cleaning or doing chores.
- Walk around the block after dinner with your family.
- Use a treadmill or walking workout video at home.
- Walk in place while brushing your teeth.
- Take your kids on a nature walk or scavenger hunt.
- Take a quick walk around your backyard or garden.
- Try a walking meditation in a quiet room.
- Walk in place or pace during phone calls.
Steps at Work
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator – it’s an easy way to add more steps!
- Walk to a coworker’s desk instead of emailing or making a phone call.
- Take a walking meeting where you meet for a walk to discuss your project – heads work better in the fresh air.
- Walk around the parking lot during your lunch break.
- Use a treadmill desk or walking desk at work.
- Instead of sitting for long periods, set a reminder to walk every 30 minutes or every hour.
- Walk around the office or building during breaks.
- Walk to and from work or park farther away from the entrance.
- Use public transportation and walk to/from the stops.
- Walk to nearby restaurants or cafes for lunch.
Steps in Your Community
- Join a local walking club or group.
- Participate in charity walks or fun runs.
- Walk to the grocery store or run errands on foot.
- Explore local parks and nature trails.
- Walk around the neighborhood or try a new route every week.
- Take a walking tour of a city or historical site.
- Use a walking app or game that encourages more steps.
- Attend outdoor community events and walk around the venue.
- Join a walking sports league, such as a kickball or softball team.
- Walk to visit nearby friends or neighbors.
Steps with Family and Friends
- Walk your dog or offer to walk a neighbor’s dog.
- Walk your kids to school or the bus stop.
- Walk around the field or court during your child’s sports practice.
- Take a family walk on the weekend or during vacation.
- Set up walking challenges with friends or coworkers.
- Walk with a friend or family member for social time.
- Stroll around a mall or shopping center with a buddy.
- Plan a walking date with your partner or spouse.
- Create a walking calendar and track your family’s progress.
- Invite friends or neighbors for a group walk in your area.
Creative Ways to Get More Steps
- Pace back and forth while waiting for appointments or public transportation.
- Walk in place while waiting for your coffee to brew.
- Create a walking playlist or listen to audiobooks while walking.
- Walk around the airport during layovers.
- Track your steps during household chores.
- Use a walking desk at home while working or browsing the internet.
- Set a yearly step goal and monitor your progress throughout the year.
- Try a treadmill workout with varying inclines and speeds.
- Reward yourself for reaching daily or weekly step goals.
- Set goals to increase your daily step count by a specific amount each week.
Thoughts From Love Life Be Fit
Walking is one of the best ways to improve your fitness. The good news is it can be done almost anywhere with just some comfortable shoes or trainers.
Once you get into the mindset of walking more, you’ll start seeing lots of opportunities to add to your step count. Having a daily goal means each day is a fresh start! Any shortcomings yesterday or last week can be forgotten about – just restart today walking for better health!
Ready to walk your way to fitness? Follow my 10,000 steps challenge!